The New York Health Act

March 13, 2015 

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Former Member, New York State Committee of the Independence Party (73rd AD – Eastside Manhattan) and Former Member, New York City Independence Party Organizations – Manhattan Executive Committee and County Committee, representing the 73rd AD.


The New York Health Act

After traveling around the state promoting his push for a single-payer health care system, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried on Tuesday said a new study found that the state would save billions it switched to single-payer system, adding that the report “dramatically” changes the debate on health care.

Gottfried’s bill, the New York Health Act, has been introduced into the Assembly in some version since 1999, but it has never gone to the floor for a vote.  Gottfried this year has renewed his push for a single-payer system.

“Every New York family can say, ‘Where is my $2,200 dollars in savings from single-payer?  Where is the savings that 98 percent of us would see in our bank accounts if Albany would pass the New York Health Act?’”  Gottfried said during a conference call.  “Now that we’ve got these concrete numbers of $45 billion in net savings, I think that dramatically changes the politics of the New York Health Act.”

The study conducted by UMass Amherst Economics Department Chair Gerald Friedman found that along with saving residents a total of $45 billion in the first year, a single-payer health system would provide savings to 98 percent of New Yorkers, prevent 14,000 deaths by providing universal access to healthcare and spur the creation of 200,000 new jobs.

The bill does not have much support in the Republican-controlled state Senate, where Health Committee Chair Kemp Hannon called the concept “interesting,” but has said he has concerns about switching to single payer.

“The major difficulty of single-payer is the federal government has the rules for two of the biggest sources of medical payment in the state: Medicare and Medicaid,”  Hannon said.  “Now, the challenge then if you want to change the system is, ‘How do you get the federal government to change their Medicaid and Medicare and not scare the population that’s being covered by Medicare—senior citizens—and Medicaid?’”

Sen. Bill Perkins, co-sponsor of the New York Health Act, said there is much work to do to promote the bill, but also said support is growing around the state.  In the state Senate, there are 18 co-sponsors of the bill.



2 Responses to “The New York Health Act”

  1. Ramona Gassmann on September 10th, 2015 11:19 am

    I am highly interested in the topic of Universal Health Care. I have researched how well it serves people in Canada, England, France and Cuba and have envied those countries.
    I am a Medicaid Service Coordinator assisting those with disabilities and one of the responsibilities is overseeing benefits. I can’t understand in the development of the system of Medicaid and Medicare why our country only wanted to provide this benefit to the elderly and disabled. Comparatively in the above countries they designed their healthcare system to provide for all. THIS act seems to want to consider all of the population as well.
    I also am an educator teaching Sociology as an adjunct at SUNY Poly Technic Institute and have at Herkimer College. I impart to my students the concept of Universal Health Care and even show them the movie SICKO by Michael Moore depicting the many dysfunctions in our current health care that seems largely ignored by so many.
    While our society has provided us feedback that those that have problems with our health care it is more or less their personal trouble…we know better it is a public issue. THANK YOU for bringing this bill to fruition. I am only sad that I just learned about it at the State Fair. It needs much more attention and support from the 98% you talk about. I plan to share this information with my students, but more importantly I would like to perhaps create a packet of information to have a discussion with my employer on this topic. It seems what could be beneficial is to have the employers in the labor market create a supportive movement of the NY Health Care Act.
    Please provide me with any information you have to my home address: Ramona Gassmann, 6 Mauser Place, Ilion-NY 13357. Feel free to call me at 315-985-3929. If there is more that I can do please let me know. I am involved in the Herkimer Democratic party and have successfully managed to create a Community Flood Action/Advisory Group in Ilion-NY after holding a successful meeting with prominent guests attending such as Senator Seward, Assemblywoman, Claudia Tenney, Herkimer Legislator, Ray Johnson, Herkimer Sheriff Chris Farber and all of the Village trustees in Herkimer. I look forward to your feedback. Thank you. Ramona Gassmann

  2. Ramona Gassmann on September 10th, 2015 11:27 am

    This is to follow-up on my last email about 10-minutes ago. My apologies I meant to share that all the Village Trustees in Ilion-NY not Herkimer NY, were present at the Public Meeting I held Oct. 27th at the ilion Municipality Building.

    Ramona Gassmann